Brows 101: All your questions on getting the perfect pair of eye-framing arches, answered
A bold statement
Got a list of unanswered questions on how you can score a perfectly-arched, precisely-tamed pair of brows? Benefit Cosmetics Global Brow Expert Jared Bailey shares his expertise on everything brow-related below.
1. Is it true that brow hairs may stop growing due to long-term threading or waxing?
It's false when it comes to waxing. The hair grows on a cycle, so the more often you wax it, the more you are removing the hair from the follicle, hence resetting the cycle. If you don't tweeze in between waxing appointments, you'll see that over a course of a year, it'll be a longer gap in between your brow appointments as the hair is catching up to the same cycle of growth. Your hair is growing, it's just taking a longer time to grow. But with threading, your follicle can be damaged and your brow hair might not grow back again.
2. Should you only ever tweeze from below the brow?
I always say that precision work is best left to professionals. But if you need to tweeze your brows for a last-minute date, then you can tweeze under the brow. But the area where your hair is really coarse and dense should be left to experts. I call that the "no zone". Tweezing is a gateway habit—it opens doors and you can get tweezer-crazy, and you'd end up with tadpole brows.
3. Is it true that the method of brow hair removal affects the rate at which your hair grows back?
Yes, because when hair is removed from the root, the cycle of growth is restarted all over again. And if you are cutting the hair off from the surface, it will grow a week later because that hair growth hasn't started. The method of shaping your brows does determine your hair growth.
4. Are there certain foods/supplements to promote brow hair growth?
I will say that good circulation really promotes healthy hair growth, because each hair follicle is connected to the derma vessel. And if you want healthy hair growth, you need to stimulate blood to flow to that area. What you can do is, when you are patting on your eye cream around your eye area, use your ring finger and massage it all the way up to promote blood flow to the hair follicles. You can use Benefit Cosmetics It's Potent—it has cocoa extract which promotes micro-circulation hence promoting blood flow as well.
5. Is there a one-shape-fits-all for everyone's eyebrows?
Not in a million years. Brows bring balance and proportion to your face shape, so finding that is important to give your face symmetry and balance.
6. Brow hair vs. hair colour, when and how do you match and contrast it?
If you want it to look very natural, look at the base tones of your hair and go with that—mimic your brow filler to that base tone. If you are looking for a little drama, go two shades deeper than your base tone. You could also go lighter because it softens up your look, so then you'd do two shades lighter. It's the rule of two's!
7. Does the right brow colour depend on your skin tone?
It doesn't have to do with your skintone, it has more to do about the colouring of the brow hair. And that's the most important thing, because a lot of people base their brow colour on their skintone.
8. What are your quick tips to fix overplucked brows?
Start with a brow map. It's our three-step custom technique to finding the perfect shape. If you have overplucked brows, use it to find the perfect shape that you can go for. You can take a brow pencil, like Goof Proof because of its forgiving texture, and start by measuring it from the dimple of your nose, vertically up to where the pencil touches the beginning of the brow. That is your starting point. This creates a slimming effect for the nose—the closer the brows are, the narrower the nose is going to look.
Next, we're going to move to the arch. So you measure from the outer portion of your nose, cross the center of the eyelids, and it's going to end in the middle of your brows. That's where your brow arch extends the highest. That will open up your eyes and give it a rounded-out effect. Lastly, extend the pencil from the outer corner of your nose to the end of your eyebrows. The ending point of the brows is important because that's going to block out the proportions of your face. And if you have a rounder face, finding that wider end can slim your face down; whereas if you have a longer face, it will give your face a oval, softer illusion.
Once you find all three points, you can pick the right type of brow filler. If you have overtweezed brows, Brow Zings is a great product to use because it's for shaping and shading the eyebrow. You can define the brow shape using the wax, and the powder gives you colour. Connect the three points and work in the same direction as the way your hair grows out, using small flicking motions with your wrist. Work the powder in to adhere to the wax, then you'll get a nice, natural-looking brow. You actually have to fill in the outside of the brow shape instead of just drawing lines within your brows, because if you do the latter it will accentuate how overtweezed your brows are.
9. How and when should you choose to apply different brow products i.e. powder, cream, pencil?
Pencils are best for precision. Goof Proof is great for patchy or scarred brows to fill it in. Powders are great for definition, especially if you want to create a shape that isn't there. A wax and powder duo like the Brow Zings is fundamental as you can design any shape you want to with this.
Gels are great for hairs that go in the wrong direction and if you want to tame it. Fiber gels however, are great for taming the hair such as Gimme Brow+. The fibers mimics the look of real hair so it deposits that to your brow, making it look thicker and fuller naturally. It's perfect for people who have finer facial hair.
10. What are your tips to instantly lift the eye area?
Brow shaping by a professional is the number one, easiest way for any woman or man to "lift" their eye area. When you go for a traditional brow waxing appointment, you lie down on a table and your brow shape is defined from the top. But at Benefit Cosmetics, we took all those techniques and reversed it, so we sit people up for us to see their brow shapes are, in a way that it naturally falls. To create a nice shape to open up your eyes, you'll need to remove fewer hairs at the bottom, and just clean a little on the top. It gives a "lifting" effect to your eye area.
The alternative is to use a brow highlighter. It's a trick that's been around for some time. High Brow's linen pink colour is lovely as it's flattering for any skin tone. This pink tone makes your brow look higher as it lightens your brow bone area. All you have to do is pat the product out at your brow bone area.